published Friday, April 8th, 2011

Irresponsible Congress

A basic responsibility of Congress is to provide for the financing of the government of the United States.

Obviously, there are sharp differences among Democrats and Republicans about how much the American people should be taxed and how much the government should spend. And reasonable decisions are rare, as is evidenced by the fact we have a $14 trillion national debt, with irresponsible spending adding $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion each year. Congress does not even pretend to provide balanced budgets.

But as a midnight deadline approaches tonight, Congress has the obligation to do something about funding continued operations of government — or face a partial shutdown when existing finances run out!

Reasonable people do not want a shutdown, and fortunately, vital services would continue in any event. But reasonable people also do not want to pile up more debt.

House Republicans, seeking bigger spending cuts than the president and Democrats in Congress want, approved a bill Thursday to fund government operations for another week and to provide more time for negotiations. But the president vowed to veto it. That proved his unwillingness to accept even the too-timid GOP cuts, much less the deeper, more serious cuts necessary to begin to put our country’s fiscal house in order.

So barring last-minute action, it appears a partial government shutdown will take place.

That is a testament to the irresponsibility of the president and too many in Congress.

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